For many women, losing weight after a pregnancy can be very difficult. While you may lose the bulk of your baby weight fairly quickly, it’s often the last few pounds that are the hardest to shed.
Why your baby weight won’t budge
The longer you hold on to excess weight, the more difficult it is to lose. As time goes on, your body adjusts to a certain weight, often called your “weight set point,” and it may work very hard at staying within that comfortable weight range. Your hormones and neurotransmitters can regulate how active you are, how hungry or full you feel, and how quickly you burn calories, all in an effort to keep your weight from dropping significantly.
How to fight back and lose the weight
Of course, people have lost weight and kept it off long-term. For most people, it requires a combination of healthy diet and exercise. But it’s not enough to simply diet for a few weeks or months. Long-term weight loss requires permanent lifestyle changes, especially if you’re trying to overcome a weight set point.
It is possible to lower your body’s weight set point. Some experts recommend losing about 10% of your body weight and then focusing on maintaining that weight for a few months so that your body can adjust. You can then work on losing another 10% of your body weight, continuing this pattern until you’ve reached your goal weight.